You are a wife and your husband is deployed. So he knows you are thinking of him, you want to send a box of goodies…what do you send? Or say you are a mom or dad and your daughter is in the Middle East on assignment with the military. What can you send her that will brighten her day?
Now picture your son/daughter getting their box with delight and they cannot wait to open it. When they do get that first peek inside, they start laughing and crying and hurriedly pulling stuff out of the box as though they cannot wait to see it all.
These scenarios happen every day. So what do you send them that is useful and enjoyable and legal and safe? Some things to keep in mind when selecting items are:
- What is the temperature where they are? You don’t want to send a bunch of chocolate bars in a box that may sit in 110 degree temps for several days.
- Is it consumable? They don’t have much space and items that can be consumed-toothpaste, beef jerky, soft toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, and so forth are always welcome. Don’t send a lot of stuff that sits around and crowds them.
- Send extra so they can share with buddies. Not everyone gets boxes from home and they all share with each other.
- Ask your loved one what they would like to have or what they need. I promise they will have a list and you will be a hero. Our son asked for socks so I sent a bunch of socks of all different types. I knew if he needed them then others did too and he could share.
- Food is always good. Items like beef jerky, trail mix, homemade cookies, boxed candy, and so forth are all popular.
- Keep holidays in mind. Send decorations and items pertaining to the holiday so they can get into the spirit. At Christmas, I found a very inexpensive small artificial tree with lights on it and send that with some small decorations to our son. He loved it.
- Know how long it takes for your boxes to arrive. You don’t want to send a holiday or birthday box and find it has gotten there after the fact.
- Know what kind of duty they are assigned. If they are infantry and out in the field, they can use bath wipes, Monkey Butt powder, deodorant wipes, lip balm, and so forth. If they are in a confined area, those items are less useful.
- Always include something personal. Write a letter to tell your soldier how proud you are of him. Send a funny card to make her laugh.
- Don’t send anything valuable. There is always the chance that money or other valuables can get “misplaced” along the way and never reach its intended destination.
Remember, they are over there without the comforts of home. Anything you send is appreciated and they will love you even more because you took time out of your busy day to acknowledge them.
More to the point, for us here at home, it is a small sacrifice on our part to raise the spirits of someone who is putting their life on the line for us. Our military members–Marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guard–all have sacrificed so we can live in freedom. We owe them a great debt.
God bless our military service members.